Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Spokane Chiefs hockey team lend a helping hand at House of Charity

the Inland Register

(From the December 20, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

Spokane Chiefs hockey players helped prepare and then served lunch Dec. 11 at the House of Charity in Spokane. (IR photo courtesy of Catholic Charities)

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the Spokane Chiefs Ice Hockey Team visited Catholic Charities’ House of Charity homeless shelter to prepare and serve the noon meal to roughly 300 homeless men and women. This marks the second year in a row that the Chiefs have cooked and served lunch at the House of Charity.

“Our players benefit from seeing and helping those in need in our community,” Chiefs General Manager Tim Speltz said. “We see this as an opportunity for our players to get involved and help in a way, which if not for Catholic Charities, wouldn’t be available to us.”

The members of the team, who are between the ages of 16-20, were able to tour the House of Charity and learn about the other 11 programs of Catholic Charities before they began cooking lunch.

The Chiefs’ 20-year-old Captain and league leading defenseman, Brenden Kichton, said, “It’s always great to come to the House of Charity and help out. I have been pretty familiar with all of the programs of Catholic Charities for four years now – ever since I was 16.”

Kichton’s knowledge of Catholic Charities programs is not a new phenomenon for Chiefs players. Like Kichton, many former Chiefs players who went on to sign NHL contracts such as Adam Hobson, Michael Grabner, Jared Cowen and Jace Coyle all were regular volunteers at Catholic Charities programs while they lived in Spokane.

The Chiefs organization has always had a strong partnership with Catholic Charities, but those above-mentioned players had an even more special connection as they all lived with host family Rob and Rachael McCann (Rob is the Executive Director of Catholic Charities). The McCann family has been a host family for nearly 10 years, welcoming hockey-playing teenagers, usually from Canada, into their homes for the duration of the Chiefs season.

Rachael McCann, who has been a teacher at St. Thomas More School for the past 10 years, said, “We love having the boys in the house every year. They are polite, responsible and a lot of fun! Our own kids, Timmy (age 7) and Tess (age 4) treat the hockey boys like they are part of the family – and they truly are!”

The players arrived at the House of Charity early in the morning to begin the never-easy process of cooking for more than 300 people. With some direction from Tami Rossi and Terry Metcalf, the two regular chefs at the House of Charity, the players cut, chopped, basted and baked for several hours to be ready for the noontime lunch crowd.

The menu for the day included barbeque chicken, corn, potato salad, rolls, and fruit. Several Chiefs players handed out knitted winter hats to all the clients at the House of Charity after they served lunch. Many patrons also got autographs and photos with the players, who changed from aprons to their Team Jerseys to serve the meal.

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